Michael Hill wrote:HOW DID THE MYTH ORIGINATE?
If Jesus is a myth or a legend, how did the story originate? How did there come to be a worldwide following of billions of Christians spanning two millennia if the story is not true? An idea does not need to be true in order to be believed, and the same could be asked about any other myth: Santa Claus, William Tell or Zeus. Nevertheless, it is not unfair to ask skeptics to suggest an alternative to historicity.
It's not a legend so that's a false assumption. peculation is not proof.
Talmud story is talking about Jesus. Talmud was written after Jesus. Celsus used that material to counter Christianity he said the Jews told him that is Jesus, the written was done a hundred years after Jesus time so no way it would be his origin,.There are a number of plausible explanations for a natural origin of the Jesus myth, none of which can be proved with certainty. Unbelievers are not in agreement, nor need they be. Some skeptics think that Jesus never existed at all and that the myth came into being through a literary process. Other skeptics deny that the Jesus character portrayed in the New Testament existed, but feel that there could have been a first-century personality after whom the exaggerated myth was patterned. Others believe that Jesus did exist, and that some parts of the New Testament are accurate, although the miracles and the claim to deity are due to later editing of the original story. Still others claim that the New Testament is basically true in all of its accounts except that there are natural explanations for the miracle stories. (It is not just atheists who possess these views. Many liberal Christians, such as Paul Tillich, have “de-mythologized” the New Testament.)
None of these views can be proved, any more than the orthodox position can be proved. What they demonstrate is that since there do exist plausible natural alternatives, it is irrational to jump to a supernatural conclusion.
1) One of the views, held by J. M. Robertson and others, is that the Jesus myth was patterned after a story found in the Jewish Talmudic literature about the illegitimate son of a woman named Miriam (Mary) and a Roman soldier named Pandera, sometimes called Joseph Pandera. In Christianity and Mythology, Robertson writes: “…we see cause to suspect that the movement really originated with the Talmudic Jesus Ben Pandera, who was stoned to death and hanged on a tree, for blasphemy or heresy, on the eve of a Passover in the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (106-79 B.C.E.).” Dr. Low, an accomplished Hebraist, is satisfied that this Jesus was the founder of the Essene sect, whose resemblance to the legendary early Christians has so greatly exercised Christian speculation.
We also know it was Jesus because it displays the ear marks of talk about Jesus masked to prevent Christians persecuting Jews because of it.
Code: Select all
2) Another view is that the Jesus myth grew out of a pre-Christian cult of Joshua. Some suggest that the New Testament story about swapping Jesus for Barabbas (meaning “son of the father”) arose from the tension between two different Joshua factions. Origen mentioned a “Jesus Barabbas.” The name “Jesus” is the Greek for Joshua (“Yeshua” in Hebrew). In Mark 9:38 the disciples of Jesus saw another man who was casting out devils in the name of Jesus (Joshua). The Sibyllene Oracles identify Jesus with Joshua, regarding the sun standing still.
.3) Other scholars suggest that the Jesus story is simply a fanciful patchwork of pieces borrowed from other religions. Pagan mythical parallels can be found for almost every item in the New Testament: the Last Supper, Peter’s denial, Pilate’s wife’s dream, the crown of thorns, the vinegar and gall at the crucifixion, the mocking inscription over the cross, the Passion, the trial, Pilate’s washing of hands, the carrying of the cross, the talk between the two thieves hanging beside Jesus, and so on. There were many crucified sun gods before Jesus. There was the crucifixion of Antigonus, the “King of the Jews,” and Cyrus, a Messianic figure. Prometheus and Heracles wear mock crowns, and in some versions of the story Prometheus is executed by crucifixion. Babylonian prisoners dressed as kings for five days, then they were stripped, scourged and crucified
1. none of them are scholars, big joke
2 I disproved this above in the early posts of this thread. all the similarities vanish when we use real mythology books.
.Attis was a self-castrated god-man who was born of a virgin, worshipped between March 22 and March 27 (vernal equinox) and hanged on a cut pine tree. He escaped, fled, descended into a cave, died, rose again and was later called “Father God.” The Greek god Dionysus was a man-god said to be the “Son of Zeus.” He was killed, buried, descended into hell, and rose from the dead to sit at the right hand of the father. His empty tomb at Delphi was long preserved and venerated by believers. The Egyptian Osiris, two millennia earlier, was said to have been slain by Typhon, rose again and became ruler of the dead. There is the story about Simon the Cyrenian sun God who carried pillars to his death. (Compare with Simon the Cyrene who carried the cross of Jesus in the New Testament.) Before Jesus there were many ascension myths. Adonis and Attis also suffered and died to rise again. So did Enoch, Elijah, Krishna, Heracles, Dionysus and, later, Mary
Mithra was a virgin-born Persian god. In 307 C.E. (just before Constantine institutionalized Christianity), the Roman emperor officially designated that Mithra was to be the “Protector of the Empire.” Historian Barbara Walker records this about Mithra:
“Mithra was born on the 25th of December…which was finally taken over by Christians in the 4th century as the birthday of Christ. Some say Mithra sprang from an incestuous union between the sun god and his own mother… Some claimed Mithra’s mother was a mortal virgin. Others said Mithra had no mother, but was miraculously born of a female Rock, the petra genetrix, fertilized by the Heavenly Father’s phallic lightning.
“Mithra’s birth was witnessed by shepherds and by Magi who brought gifts to his sacred birth-cave of the Rock. Mithra performed the usual assortment of miracles: raising the dead, healing the sick, making the blind see and the lame walk, casting out devils. As a Peter, son of the petra, he carried the keys of the kingdom of heaven… His triumph and ascension to heaven were celebrated at the spring equinox (Easter)…
“Before returning to heaven, Mithra celebrated a Last Supper with his twelve disciples, who represented the twelve signs of the zodiac. In memory of this, his worshippers partook of a sacramental meal of bread marked with a cross. This was one of seven Mithraic sacraments, the models for the Christians’ seven sacraments. It was called mizd, Latin missa, English mass. Mithra’s image was buried in a rock tomb… He was withdrawn from it and said to live again.
“Like early Christianity, Mithraism was an ascetic, anti-female religion. Its priesthood consisted of celibate men only…
“What began in water would end in fire, according to Mithraic eschatology. The great battle between the forces of light and darkness in the Last Days would destroy the earth with its upheavals and burnings. Virtuous ones…would be saved. Sinful ones…would be cast into hell… The Christian notion of salvation was almost wholly a product of this Persian eschatology, adopted by Semitic eremites and sun-cultists like the Essenes, and by Roman military men who thought the rigid discipline and vivid battle-imagery of Mithraism appropriate for warriors.
“After extensive contact with Mithraism, Christians also began to describe themselves as soldiers for Christ;… to celebrate their feasts on Sun-day rather than the Jewish sabbath… Like Mithraists, Christians practiced baptism to ascend after death through the planetary spheres to the highest heaven, while the wicked (unbaptized)
would be dragged down to darkness.” (The Woman’s Encyclopedia Of Myths And Secrets, pages 663-665)
The Mythic Mysteries are very complex, and the only real similarities to Jesus are minute ones.. Most of these alleged similarities are suspect or unimportant. It is often claimed by skeptics on the Internet that "there is so much similarity" but I find very little. Mithra comes from Persia and is part of Zoroastrian myth, but this cult was transplanted to Rome near the end of the pre-Christian era. Actually the figure of Mithra is very ancient. He began in the Hindu pantheon and is mentioned in the Vedas. He latter spread to Persia where he took the guise of a sheep protecting deity. But his guise as a shepherd was rather minor. He is associated with the Sun as well. Yet most of our evidence about his cult (which apparently didn't exist in the Hindu or Persian forms) comes from Post-Pauline times. Mythic rituals were meant to bring about the salvation and transformation of initiates. In that sense it could be seen as similar to Christianity, but it was a religion and all religions aim at ultimate transformation. He's a total mythical figure he meets the sun who kneels before him, he slays a cosmic bull, nothing is real or human, no sayings, no teachings.
1) no Virginal Conception
Mithra was born of a rock, so unless the rock was a virgin rock, no virginal conception for him. (Marvin W. Meyer, ed. The Ancient Mysteries :a Sourcebook. San Francisco: Harper, 1987,, p. 201). David Ulansey, who is perhaps the greatest Mithric scholar of the age, agrees that Mithras was born out of a rock, not of a virgin woman. He was also born as a full grown adult. (David Ulansey, The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World. New York: Oxford U. Press, 1989.)
2) No crucifixion or resurrection.
There no story of Mithras death and no references to resurrection. The only similarity about him in this relation is that his shedding of the Bull's blood is said by H.G. Wells (Out Line of World History ) to be the prototype for Jesus sacrifice on the cross. But in reality the only similarity here is blood, and it wasn't even his own. It may even be borrowing form Christianity that made the shedding of blood important in the religion. Gordon says directly, that there is "no death of Mithras" -- (Gordon, Richard. Image and Value in the Greco-Roman World. Aldershot: Variorum, 1996.(p96)
3) No Savior, no baptism, no Christmas
Moreover, one of the major sources comes from the second century AD and is found in inscriptions on a temple, "and you saved us after having shed the eternal blood." This sounds Christian, but being second century after Christ it could well be borrowed from Christianity (Meyer, p 206). (This source, Meyer, is used by Kane as well, but it says nothing to back up his claims, and as will be seen latter, Meyer disparages the notion of conscious borrowing] (More about this ceremony on Page 3)
"Mithra was the Persian god whose worship became popular among Roman soldiers (his cult was restricted to men) and was to prove a rival to Christianity in the late Roman Empire. Early Zoroastrian texts, such as the Mithra Yasht, cannot serve as the basis of a mystery of Mithra inasmuch as they present a god who watches over cattle and the sanctity of contracts. Later Mithraic evidence in the west is primarily iconographic; there are no long coherent texts".
(Edwin Yamauchi, "Easter: "Myth, Hallucination, or History," Leadership University)
4) Most of our sources Post Date Christianity.
...(a) Almost no Textual evidence exists for Mithraism
Most of the texts that do exist are from outsiders who were speculating about the cult. We have no information form inside the cult.
Cosmic Mysteries of Mythras (website--visted July 1, 2006)
David Ulansey (the Major scholar of Mithraism in world) Owing to the cult's secrecy, we possess almost no literary evidence about the beliefs of Mithraism. The few texts that do refer to the cult come not from Mithraic devotees themselves, but rather from outsiders such as early Church fathers, who mentioned Mithraism in order to attack it, and Platonic philosophers, who attempted to find support in Mithraic symbolism for their own philosophical ideas. "At present our knowledge of both general and local cult practice in respect of rites of passage, ceremonial feats and even underlying ideology is based more on conjecture than fact." (Mithraic Studies: Proceedings of the First International Congress of Mithraic Studies. Manchester U. Press, 1975. ,437)
And Cumont himself observed, in the 50s
"The sacred books which contain the prayers recited or chanted during the [Mithraic] survives, the ritual on the initiates, and the ceremonials of the feasts, have vanished and left scarce a trace behind...[we] know the esoteric disciplines of the Mysteries only from a few indiscretions." (Cumont, Franz. The Mysteries of Mithra. New York: Dover, 1950.152)
...(b) Roman Cult began after Jesus life
Our earliest evidence for the Mithraic mysteries places their appearance in the middle of the first century B.C.: the historian Plutarch says that in 67 B.C. a large band of pirates based in Cilicia (a province on the southeastern coast of Asia Minor) were practicing "secret rites" of Mithras. The earliest physical remains of the cult date from around the end of the first century A.D., and Mithraism reached its height of popularity in the third century. (David Ulansey Cosmoic Mysteries of Mithras (website)
...(c) No Continuity between Ancient Persian past and Roman Cult
Throughout most of the twentieth century Franz Cumont so influenced scholarship that the entire discipline followed in the wake of his assumption that the Roman cult was spread by the Persian cult. In the early 70's David Ulansey did for Mithric scholarship what Noan Chomsky did for linguistics, he totally redefined the coordinates by which the discipline moved. Ulansey showed that the Roman cult was not the continuance of the Persian cult, that there was no real evidence of a Persian cult. He showed that the killing of the great comic bull which latter became the major event in Mithraism, and the parallel from which Jesus Mythers get the shedding of blood and sacrifice, was not known in the Persian era. This would be like showing that the story of the Cross was not known to Christians in the first century. The major likeness to Christianity and the central point of the cult of Mithraism was not known in the time of Christ, in the time Paul, or for at least two centuries after:
"There were, however, a number of serious problems with Cumont's assumption that the Mithraic mysteries derived from ancient Iranian religion. Most significant among these is that there is no parallel in ancient Iran to the iconography which is the primary fact of the Roman Mithraic cult. For example, as already mentioned, by far the most important icon in the Roman cult was the tauroctony. This scene shows Mithras in the act of killing a bull, accompanied by a dog, a snake, a raven, and a scorpion; the scene is depicted as taking place inside a cave like the mithraeum itself. This icon was located in the most important place in every mithraeum, and therefore must have been an expression of the central myth of the Roman cult. Thus, if the god Mithras of the Roman religion was actually the Iranian god Mithra, we should expect to find in Iranian mythology a story in which Mithra kills a bull. However, the fact is that no such Iranian myth exists: in no known Iranian text does Mithra have anything to do with killing a bull." (David Ulansey Mithras Mysteries)
(5) Mithraism Emerged in the west only after Jesus' day.
Mithraism could not have become an influence upon the origins of the first century, for the simple reason that Mithraism did not emerge from its pastoral setting in rural Persia until after the close of the New Testament canon. (Franz Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra (Chicago: Open Court, 1903), 87ff.)
(6) We Don't know what any of it means.
"No one can be sure that the meaning of the meals and the ablutions are the same between Christianity and Mithraism. Just because the two had them is no indication that they come to the same thing. These are entirely superficial and circumstantial arguments." (Nash, Christian Research Journal winter 94, p.8)
(7) Mithraism was influenced by Christianity
...(a) Roman Soldiers Spread the cult.
Roman soldiers probably encountered Mithraism first as part of Zoroastrians while on duty in Persia. The Cult spread through the Roman legion, was most popular in the West, and had little chance to spread through or influence upon Palestine. It's presence in Palestine was mainly confined to the Romans who were there to oppress the Jews. Kane tries to imply that these mystery cults were all indigenous to the Palestinian area, that they grew up alongside Judaism, and that the adherents to these religions all traded ideas as they happily ate together and practiced good neighborship.
...(b) Mithric Roman Soldiers Influenced by Christiansin Palestine!
But Mithraism was confined to the Roman Legion primarily, those who were stationed in Palestine to subdue the Jewish Revolt of A.D. 66-70. In fact strong evidence indicates that in this way Christianity influenced Mithraism. First, because Romans stationed in the West were sent on short tours of duty to fight the Parthians in the East, and to put down the Jewish revolt. This is where they would have encountered a Christianity whose major texts were already written, and whose major story (that of the life of Christ) was already formed.
"There is no real evidence for a Persian Cult of Mithras. The cultic and mystery aspect did not exist until after the Roman period, second century to fourth. This means that any similarities to Christianity probably come from Christianity as the Soldiers learned of it during their tours in Palestine. The Great historian of religions, Franz Cumont was able to prove that the earliest datable evidence for the cult came from the Military Garrison at Carnuntum, on the Danube River (modern Hungary). The largest Cache of Mithric artifacts comes form the area between the Danube and Ostia in Italy.
" (Franz Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra (Chicago: Open Court, 1903), 87ff.)
3) Mithraism was not Christianity's Major Rival
The Ecole Initiative:
http://cedar.evansville.edu/~ecoleweb/a ... raism.html
caution, this page was accessed in 2004.
Mithraism had a wide following from the middle of the second century to the late fourth century CE, but the common belief that Mithraism was the prime competitor of Christianity, promulgated by Ernst Renan (Renan 1882 579), is blatantly false. Mithraism was at a serious disadvantage right from the start because it allowed only male initiates. What is more, Mithraism was, as mentioned above, only one of several cults imported from the eastern empire that enjoyed a large membership in Rome and elsewhere. The major competitor to Christianity was thus not Mithraism but the combined group of imported cults and official Roman cults subsumed under the rubric "paganism." Finally, part of Renan's claim rested on an equally common, but almost equally mistaken, belief that Mithraism was officially accepted because it had Roman emperors among its adherents (Nero, Commodus, Septimius Severus, Caracalla, and the Tetrarchs are most commonly cited). Close examination of the evidence for the participation of emperors reveals that some comes from literary sources of dubious quality and that the rest is rather circumstantial. The cult of Magna Mater, the first imported cult to arrive in Rome (204 BCE) was the only one ever officially recognized as a Roman cult. The others, including Mithraism, were never officially accepted
nope none of those figures were named zmaary and in fact Maia is not the Greek word used for Mary in the NT but "Maria".The name “Mary” is common to names given to mothers of other gods: the Syrian Myrrha, the Greek Maia and the Hindu Maya all derived from the familiar “Ma” for mother. The phrases “Word of God” and “Lamb of God” are probably connected, due to a misunderstanding of words that are similar in different languages. The Greek word “logos,” which means “word,” was used originally by the gnostics and is translated as “imerah” in Hebrew. The word “immera” in Aramaic means “lamb.” It is easy to see how some Jews, living at the intersection of so many cultures and languages, could be confused and influenced by so many competing religious ideas.
read the rest of It because is not saying Jesus is like pagan Gods not at all. I've read all of that notwhat he saidChristianity appears to have been cut from the same fabric as pagan mythology, and early Christians admitted it. Arguing with pagans around 150 C.E., Justin Martyr said: “When we say that the Word, who is the first born of God, was produced without sexual union, and that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven; we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter (Zeus).”
totsl lie/ myther makes stuff upv. The anchor cross was [roved top be a hoax this is too.In the fourth century a Christian scholar named Fermicus attempted to establish the uniqueness of Christianity, but he was met at every turn by pagan precedents to the story of Jesus. He is reported to have said: “Habet Diabolus Christos sous!” (“The Devil has his Christs!”) If early Christians, who were closer to the events than we are, said the story of Jesus is “nothing different” from paganism, can modern skeptics be faulted for suspecting the same thing?